The Q&A Archives: Why wouldn't a crape myrtle bloom??

Question: I live in Richmond, VA, and like many southern states I'm surrounded by blooming Crape Myrtles this time of year. Lately though, I've been confronted by numerous customers of mine asking why their crape myrtles are not blooming. The one that bothers me most is one at my mother's home. Whereas some of my other clients trees don't look all that healthy, my mothers tree looks gorgeous. Aside from the fact it isn't blooming, the tree has beautiful foliage and great bark. It bloomed beautifully last year and was not clipped back at all this spring. Any insight you could provide would be great.

Answer: There are only a few reasons for non-blooming in crape myrtles. (1) too much shade (it needs full sun to flower well); (2) weak growth (it flowers on new wood, so fertilize and water all through the growing season); (3) spring frost injury may prevent flowering; and (4) excess fertilization (produces all vegetative growth and no flowering). If many crape myrtles in your area are refusing to bloom this year, I'd suspect it is weather related. The trees should bloom on season next year - providing there's not a late frost!

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